The other day I quickly ran into the library to get some books about dinosaurs for my preschool classroom. I was by myself since both of my kiddos were in school.
Think back to when you were engaged. You thought, ate, drank, slept wedding plans. You watched wedding shows on TLC and looked at wedding magazines and wedding planners every spare moment of your day. Also, it seemed everyone around you was either about to get engaged or had just gotten engaged. Your conversation centered around the to-be wedding. You were in the "Engagement Club."
Then you got married and your club title changed. You were no longer thinking about florists, cakes, and music. You were thinking about how this marriage thing was really supposed to work. You find out that planning the wedding was actually the easy part. The marriage thing is alot harder! So you seek out people in the same club as you to help you. You are now in the "Newly Married Club."
After a few years you decide you've got the marriage thing downpat and you decide to add a third person to the mix. You get pregnant. Warning: The "Pregnancy Club" is the most active club. When you are pregnant, you see pregnant women everywhere. All you talk about is pregnancy. All you think about is pregnancy. All you read about is pregnancy. This club's activities are some that you'll remember forever. And when you "graduate" from this club, you will pass your experiences on to the newer club members by telling them your harrowing stories of 17-hour labors, passing out twice, getting a blood transfusion, and not being able to stand or sit comfortably for almost a year. Oh, that's not what the new club members need to hear? Sorry.
It's ironic - the same thing happens with pregnancy that happens with the wedding. You find out that what you thought was the hard part turns out to be the easiest part. 'Cuz now you find yourself responsible for another person's well-being, health, and happiness. And sometimes the little bundle of joy you've just ruined your body to get into the world is the same little bundle of joy you want to put back in. You need to find the members of the "I've Got a Newborn and Haven't Slept in 4 1/2 Days Club" to let you know your discouragements and frustrations are normal and in no way makes you the most horrible mother the earth has ever produced.
Eventually, your newborn will become a toddler and you'll join the "I Can't Sit and Have a Conversation Because I'm Chasing My Kid Around to Make Sure He Doesn't Choke on a Lego" Club. This, along with the newborn club, is an exhausting club to be a member of. But, as you know, this membership expires quickly.
"The Preschool Club" is a little easier, in my opinion. There are good preschool programs out there (I could personally vouch for one in particular!) that can give you some much-needed time away. It is while you are in this club that you realize how fast they really are growing up. The next club's membership is looming on the horizon.
Now here's the club I'm in. The "Kids In Elementary" Club. Graded papers to sign, lunch money checks to write, science projects to plan, etc.
Since that is the club I'm presently a member of, I cannot speak from experience about clubs to come. Clubs like the "My Kids Are In High School" Club or the "Finally in College" Club. My sister will have to tell me how to navigate those two clubs!
So back to being in the library by myself, kid-less. I happened to be there just as the door was closing to the room where lap-sit storytime was starting. The storytime I took both my kids to at that age. I saw a few late-arrivers carrying their babies on their hips, opening the door, and slipping in.
I looked at the door. It was closed. And I couldn't open it. Because I'm not in that club anymore.
At this moment, I know members in each one of these clubs (except the engagement club, can't think of anyone who is engaged).
Some of you can put your hand on your belly and feel that new life inside you. You are wondering if the day will ever, ever get here where you actually hold them in your arms for the first time and love them with a love so deep it shocks you.
Some of you have a newborn at home and things aren't going "picture-perfect." You are starting to question whether or not you will ever have a moment of peace and quiet again.
Some of you have toddlers throwing temper-tantrums and testing you at every turn.
Some of you have preschoolers trying to act more grown-up than they are, and you are beginning to want them to stay little forever.
Some of us have elementary school aged kids who are slowly but surely not needing us quite as much as they used to.
You may be in a different club....there's several I didn't get to in this post. The "Struggling Marriage" Club, the "We're Broke" Club, the "Sick Parents" Club, the "Rebellious Child" Club," and the list could go on and on. Whatever club(s) you find your membership in, know you are not alone. God is in all these clubs, and I can guarantee you he will help you find other club members to help you through.
So let's all enjoy the club we're in today. Tomorrow may require a whole new membership altogether.